Tell us how CØR.color differs from Mineral.CCT?
It’s called CØR.color because the core of the brand has always been hair color. We used Clean Color Technology (which means Ammonia-, PPD-, and Resorcinol-free), but CØR.color got Molecular Blend Technology in it.
One of the challenges of ammonia-free hair color was scalp irritation so that was something that we were determined to address. Pigments are pre-mixed in the lab. Scalp irritation is caused by free radicals and rogue pigments, so because [CØR.color] is pre-mixed, you don’t get scalp irritation.
Also, pre-mixing means all colors are blended (base color, reflect, etc), which gives improved grey coverage. Grey coverage has always been the biggest challenge for any ammonia-free color. That’s why all the testing that we did was against ammoniated color. We wanted [CØR.color] to perform exactly like ammoniated color. As a hairdresser, I don’t want to breathe [ammonia] if I didn’t have to. As a client, I don’t want that on my hair. That’s the philosophy of the brand.
The packaging looks cool. With the hair care, we’re all about it looking luxury where people can use it, Instagram it, and put it in their bathroom. I thought: Why does the hair color have to look like a backroom product that can be hidden away. It needs to come out the front.
O&M has always been so great about being fashion-forward. Now you have green chemistry, along with this new Molecular Blend Technology that no one has in the market. As the exclusive distributor in North America, we’re excited about our partnership. What excites you about being partners with Simply Organic Beauty?
With Simply Organic, I really love the philosophy of the company. You only distribute natural and organic products, which is exactly where O&M sits. Also, you’re very technology-focused. I love the way you educate and how you use the internet to reach your customers on a daily basis. Whereas traditionally, sales reps would visit salons once a month.
There’s so much information available online. It’s 2017, and traditional models of distribution [are not as effective anymore]. The world is changing, and [the internet] just makes it more immediate for us to be able to get our message across a wide audience. I think Simply Organic is the leader of that in America.
Thank you for that. What do you see next for Original & Mineral?
In the first quarter of next year, we’ll be launching a men’s range of hair color, which I’m super excited about. It’s called Q.color which is Quick Color (5-10 minutes). It’s grey blending. Five shades. I really think the men’s market is a huge growing market. Obviously, it’s ammonia-, PPD-, and resorcinol-free, but it gives really good coverage, but natural.
We’re also bringing out CØR.rebond, which is our rebonding system that you can use with all of our lighteners. It stops the hair from breaking. Balayage is a huge trend, and Paint Powder is our balayage bleach. It just means you’re gonna be able to look after the integrity of the hair. We’re all about healthy hair that’s free from stress, and CØR.rebond will fit into that.
We got some stuff coming out in the hair care line as well next year. I’m always obsessed with volume because I’ve got, like, five hairs, and I try to make them look like I got more. So, we’ll be having a dry shampoo coming out very soon.
You guys don’t stop do you?
No, we don’t. Actually, I get my best feedback in salons. I’m very lucky I get to travel a lot. I go to a lot of salons, and hairdressers are opinionated people. They tell you when they hate it, they tell you when they love it, and they tell you what they want. It just makes it so much easier. A lot of the products that we develop is actually from feedback.
So, where do you see hair color is headed?
10 years ago when we started this, people looked at me like I was an alien. Even when I first came to the US, they were like, “you’re actually a bit ahead of your time. You might not get there.” But if you look at all the major companies now they’re all going this way. Even in Europe, a lot of these chemicals are getting banned. It’s just that we are small and progressive enough. We’re doing it long enough that we’ve made enough mistakes to know how to get it right.
So I think this is the future. This is the trend. Generally, hairdressing will be going much more low-chemical, environmentally friendly, and sustainable. So many trends are going that way.
I also think there is a shift away from the major companies and the old way of doing things. We love that fashion element and keeping it cool. We’re working a lot with key influencers, hairdressers, and New York Fashion Week. Smaller brands tend to have a story people can relate to, which makes you more approachable. That’s why so many people tell me when they don’t like something. I really don’t mind. I’m not emotionally attached to anything other than being the best that I can be for the brand and making the products the best that I can.
What’s one piece of advice that you’ve really appreciated somebody has given you?
Somebody once told me, because I’ve been through so many ups and downs and we started this and founded this all from a hair salon: You’re standing on a frozen lake and you got an ice pick, and you’re trying to crack the ice. So what are you going to do? You should jump up and down. And if you haven’t gotten through the ice, you just gotta keep jumping.
I think with CØR.color, I’ve dented the ice. So I feel it’s a journey. You ought to enjoy it, but you got to crack through the ice. And I think knowing what you’re good at and surrounding yourself with people who are better than you and who have got different skills [is important], because you can’t do everything. I thought I could do everything. I even had to go do some color and I thought – okay, best to leave that to the experts.
So if you weren’t so lovely as a blonde, what color would you choose?
A few times, Wayne [Lewis] our Technical Director had said to me, darling, you should be a redhead. So I think I’d probably go copper because I’m pale and it will probably make me less washed out. I did once go dark. I had a very Cleopatra kind of hair and I couldn’t cope with it. It took me so long to get it all out.
What are your top styling products?